When the Boston Red Sox face the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday in Grapefruit League action, it might be the closest thing we get to an Opening Day lineup preview.
Every spot in the order, every defensive position and even the starting pitcher is what the Sox might also trot out April 1 when they open their season against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.
Here is Wednesday’s lineup.
Kiké Hernández, 2B
Alex Verdugo, CF
J.D. Martinez, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Rafael Devers, 3B
Hunter Renfroe, RF
Marwin Gonzalez, LF
Christian Vazquez, C
Bobby Dalbec, 1B
Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
The one qualifier we’ll add is that this would be the likely lineup against righties, and things might change a bit against lefties — and O’s ace John Means is a southpaw. The only other thing that might cause tweaks is if Franchy Cordero is ready for Opening Day.
Nevertheless, it is pretty wild that the Red Sox are so loaded with offensive power that Dalbec is hitting ninth.
“It’s a good lineup. It’s a deep lineup. When you have Christian Vazquez hitting eighth, it means you have a deep lineup,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters Wednesday morning. “Somebody has to hit eighth, somebody has to hit ninth, but we feel comfortable where we’re at. The lefty-righty stuff, we’ll see how it plays out. There’s good at-bats throughout, there’s power, there’s athletes. (Thursday is) an off-day, so let’s try today and see (what happens). ? It’s good to see them together and see what they can do.”
Also of note, this will be the first spring training game that Bogaerts is playing shortstop. He has been the DH a couple times since the weekend as he works his way back from shoulder soreness that shut him down earlier this month.